National PTA believes that students need access to information in order to explore and experience the diversity of ideas in a pluralistic society. PTA recognizes and supports the rights of parents to guide their children in choosing appropriate reading and educational materials. PTA supports teachers in developing classroom libraries to include appropriate reading and educational materials. PTA also supports the rights of both public libraries and school libraries to provide factually correct and historically accurate information and materials that are free of censorship based on bias, partisanship or doctrinal disapproval.
National PTA urges its members at all levels to monitor, support and advocate for laws, regulations, policies and programs that:
- Support a person’s right to use a library without bias.
- Encourage the establishment of school system policies to ensure the rights of educators, parents, students and other community members to assume roles in the evaluation, selection and adoption or removal procedures for instructional materials and of school library materials in public schools.
- Provide schools with materials that are free of bias and promote a diverse and inclusive curriculum, providing a means to explore ideas and concepts, make informed judgments and expand students’ access to a variety of resources.
- Provide age and developmentally appropriate educational materials which includes family structure, gender identity, sexual orientation and sexual health.
- Present the diverse racial and ethnic heritages of this country, and the contributions of all groups, including historically and currently marginalized groups, in the educational materials and textbooks used by our schools.
- Portray accurately the role and contribution of all people in textbooks and materials used by our public schools.
- Equitably maintain and fund school libraries and media centers in all public schools.
This position statement was written to update and combine resolutions and position statements concerning “Libraries and Educational Material.” The original resolutions and position statements will be archived in the Historical Records as reference on this issue.
Libraries, Public Schools and Censorship; Library Bill of Rights; Textbook Credibility; Parents’ and Students’ Role in the Selection, Review, and Removal of Educational Materials; School Libraries/Media Centers and the PTA
**Please refer to position statement entitled “Mass Media” for further information on pornography and children’s access to pornographic material.